CFP: ‘Legitimacy’ issue of Global Discourse

Call for Papers: ‘Legitimacy’

Global Discourse:
An Interdisciplinary Journal of Current Affairs and Applied Contemporary Thought

Volume 5: Issue 4:
December 2015

Guest editors:
Bronwyn Winter and Lucia Sorbera

Legitimacy, along with security and democracy, are arguably the most widely used global buzzwords of our new millennium. The term, which can variously mean lawful, authorised, accepted as conforming to agreed standards and practices, justified, reasonable and authentic—or all of these things at once—imparts significant moral clout to any social or political actor that is perceived to be characterised by it.
Whether we are talking about the so-called ‘War on Terror’, the Arab world uprisings and regime changes, the Global Financial Crisis or the rise of new powerful economies and polities such as India and China, the battle for legitimacy has characterized political discourse nationally and transnationally. Existing and new regimes have invoked legitimacy, often associated with either or both of security and democracy, to justify their actions, and oppositional civil society movements and groups have challenged those same claims to legitimacy.
The idea of political legitimacy is, however, not new and has been constructed in different ways at different moments in history. Moments of great upheaval or structural change have been significant in shifting meanings of legitimacy, such as during the passage from the Ancien Régime to the First Republic in France, or during debates over succession to the Prophet in the Islamic world. In more recent history, the battle for political legitimacy has gripped the Middle East and North Africa since well before the so-called ‘Arab spring’
started in Tunisia in December 2010. It has been waged, often violently, in countries as diverse as Algeria, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Morocco, Palestine (and indeed Israel) since at least the 1990s and in many cases earlier. It also gripped the West during the time of the Vietnam War and May 1968, for example.

State and non-state actors alike plead their own legitimacy and denounce the illegitimacy of their rivals. Legitimacy, once posited, is tacitly assumed to inhere in the action or institution so described and to need no further justification—or indeed, definition. Yet clearly, as the above examples show, what is legitimate for some will be illegitimate for others.

This issue of Global Discourse will problematise this notion of legitimacy, from various contextual, standpoint, disciplinary and theoretical perspectives. Why does the idea of legitimacy have such quasi-unimpeachable moral weight? Who is using the term, to what end, in what contexts? Within what logical, political, economic, cultural or ideological frameworks are actions deemed to be legitimate or illegitimate? How do factors such as gender, culture, religion and socioeconomic or geopolitical status impact on how legitimacy is determined? Can one ever speak of an absolute legitimacy or illegitimacy? Or is legitimacy always contextual and contingent?

Submission instructions and deadlines
Please submit all abstracts and papers by email to and
Deadlines for submissions for this issue are:
Abstracts of 500 words: September 1st 2014 Full articles, of around 8000 words, to be solicited on the basis of review of abstracts: December 31st 2014
Publication: September 2014 – all articles will appear as online firsts as soon as they are accepted and processed

Instructions for authors:

Further details:

Editor contact details: Bronwyn Winter and Lucia Sorbera

Journal Aims and Scope
Global Discourse is an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented journal of applied contemporary thought operating at the intersection of politics, international relations, sociology and social policy. The journal’s scope is broad, encouraging interrogation of current affairs with regard to core questions of distributive justice, wellbeing, cultural diversity, autonomy, sovereignty, security and recognition.
Rejecting the notion that publication is the final stage in the research process, Global Discourse seeks to foster discussion and debate between often artificially isolated disciplines and paradigms, with responses to articles encouraged and conversations continued across issues. The journal features a mix of full-length articles, each accompanied by one or more replies, shorter essays, rapid replies, discussion pieces and book review symposia, typically consisting of three reviews and a reply by the author/s. With an international advisory editorial board consisting of experienced, highly-cited academics, Global Discourse welcomes submissions from and on any region. Authors are encouraged to explore the international dimensions and implications of their work. With a mix of themed and general issues, symposia are periodically deployed to examine topics as they emerge.

CFP – Political Studies Association, Media & Politics Group Annual Conference

Political Studies Association Media & Politics Group

Annual Conference

Theme: Media, Persuasion and Human Rights

Hosted by Network for Media & Persuasive Communication

Bangor University, Bangor, N.Wales


Call for Papers

Conference Date: Mon. 10th – Tues. 11th Nov. 2014



We welcome papers on any aspect of Media and Politics, or on this year’s conference theme of Media, Persuasion and Human Rights.

While human rights may appear inalienable in international law and covenants, in fact they are sites of contestation, conflict and redefinition, variably implemented across the globe.

Reflecting our theme, our key note speakers include Prof. Jon Silverman (University of Bedfordshire) who is currently working on the influence of the media’s reporting of war crimes trials in West Africa on civil society.

We seek papers on any of the following themes.

1. Media and Politics – any aspect.

2. Media, Persuasion and Human Rights, including:

a) Mediating Norms. Jeremy Bentham once called human rights ‘nonsense upon stilts’. What is the philosophical status of human rights and how are deontic norms complicated, challenged and threatened by current geo-political events and their mediation? Are liberal social aspirations being redefined and eroded? Did they ever exist? What betterment do we have to aim for today?

b) Communicating Trade-offs. When governments balance rights against each other (eg trading-off the right to privacy or freedom from torture in exchange for national security), how do the media respond? How does the complexity of decision-making and trade-offs get communicated? What are decision-makers’ insights on balancing and communicating rights?

c) Contestation and Articulation. What human rights are privileged by, and contested through, the media? How have these changed over time? How do articulatory struggles play out across the media, and via what persuasive ‘actants’, including NGOs, investigative journalists, the public, lawyers, companies, corporations, governments, and international governance bodies?

d) Media Forms. How does the struggle over articulation vary across different media forms and genres? How do minority media and the rise of mass self-broadcasting enable perverted viewing and production (eg torture porn, tour of duty war mementos), and with what implications for the normalization of abnormal situations (too taboo for mass view), and for the social enactment of human rights?

e) New Media, New Rights? What novel opportunities and challenges do new media technologies present for human rights that intrinsically rely on the media, such as the right to privacy and freedom of speech?

f) Mobilisation. In what ways do media inform and mobilise the public regarding their human rights? This may range from the practices of bearing witness (eg sousveillant communication); to the generation of empathy, intimacy, and a new solidarity through media forms that invoke engagement, identification and pleasure (eg Twitter, film, reality TV, comedy, music)?

g) Gender. Is there such as thing as ‘gendered’ human rights? How does gender impact and influence mediated construction of human rights around the globe? How has the media engaged in the representation of gendered and sexualised human rights abuses (for example mass rape, comfort women, sex trafficking and enforced prostitution)?

h) Cultural Imperialism? What are non-western insights on human rights liberal discourse, and how are these dealt with in various national and trans-national institutions ranging from satellite TV to the International Criminal Court?

We encourage diverse responses to the theme, but are especially interested in interdisciplinary responses, not least from policy-makers, activists, philosophers, information-management specialists, computer scientists, journalists, security analysts, and those with expertise in law or politics.


Abstract submission

All proposals should include the following: title and name, institutional affiliation and address, and email address; together with, a paper title, an abstract of not more than 300 words, an indication of which theme(s) you are addressing, and up to five key words about your paper. Please also indicate whether or not you are a postgraduate student.

Please indicate which section you wish your proposal to be considered under:

1. 10-15 minute panel presentation;

2. Practice-based work (15 mins – comprising showing of practice-based piece (or an extract) plus any accompanying discussion/context).

Abstracts should be sent by 1st July to [log in to unmask]

All abstracts will undergo peer review and decisions on papers will be given within 3 weeks of the submission deadline.


Postgraduate Travel Bursaries

There are 3 travel bursaries of £100 each to support the travel expenses of postgraduate students (who must be PSA members to be eligible) to the November conference. This will be awarded competitively based on quality of submitted abstracts.

Postgraduates & James Thomas Memorial Prize (Prize £100)

Postgraduate students are invited to submit a full paper that will be entered into the James Thomas Memorial Prize. This annual award is presented to the most outstanding paper by a postgraduate student at the Media and Politics Group Annual Conference. While abstracts must be submitted by 1st July, full papers must be submitted by 1 October 2014, to allow time for them to be reviewed by the MPG conveners.
Dr Vian Bakir
Senior Lecturer in Journalism
Bangor University
N. Wales


CFP: PSA Media & Politics Group Annual Conference – Media, Persuasion & Human Rights

CFP: Worlding Beyond the West

Worlding Beyond the West (Routledge)

Series Editor: Arlene B. TicknerDavid BlaneyChristian BuegerInanna Hamati-AtayaOle Wæver

Historically, the International Relations (IR) discipline has established its boundaries, issues, and theories based upon Western experience and traditions of thought. This series explores the role of geocultural factors, institutions, and academic practices in creating the concepts, epistemologies, and methodologies through which IR knowledge is produced. This entails identifying alternatives for thinking about the “international” that are more in tune with local concerns and traditions outside the West. But it also implies provincializing Western IR and empirically studying the practice of producing IR knowledge at multiple sites within the so-called ‘West’.

We welcome proposals in areas such as:

  • Critiques of Western-centric scholarship and policy-making.
  • The emergence of new theories and approaches from ‘the periphery’.
  • The challenges for the discipline at large in accommodating its post-Western phase, and the political and ethical dilemmas involved in this.
  • Concrete studies of the results of approaching issues and agendas in ‘the periphery’ with the tools offered by core thinking.
  • Work by scholars from the non-West about local, national, regional or global issues, reflecting on the importance of different perspectives and of geocultural epistemologies.
  • Studies of ‘travelling theory’ – how approaches, concepts and theories get modified, re-casted and translated in different contexts.
  • The meaning and evolution of major concepts in particular regions, such as security thinking, concepts of globalisation and power, understandings of ‘economy’ and ‘development’ or other key categories in particular regions.
  • The sociology of the discipline in different places – with a focus on a country, a region, on specific research communities/schools, subfields, or on specific institutions such as academic associations, journals, foundations or think tanks.
  • Empirical studies of epistemic practices and the conditions of knowledge production in different Western and non-Western locales and sites.
  • Studies of the interaction between different knowledge producers, such as processes of expertise or the dialogue between intellectuals, academics, bureaucrats and policy elites.
If you are interested in submitting a proposal, or for proposal guidelines and further information, please contact:
Nicola Parkin, Editor
Routledge, Taylor&Francis Group


CFP: Neoliberalism and/as Terror – Annual Conference of BISA CST working group

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CFP – Neoliberalism and/as Terror – Annual Conference of BISA CST working group

“Heath-Kelly, Charlotte” <[log in to unmask]>

Heath-Kelly, Charlotte

Wed, 11 Jun 2014 21:09:40 +0100


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The Annual BISA Critical Studies on Terrorism Working Group Conference, 2014

Neoliberalism and/as Terror: Technologies, Politics and Vernacular Perspectives

Call For Papers
Conference Information
Dates: Monday 15th – Tuesday 16th September 2014
Location: Nottingham Conference Centre, at Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom.

The fourth Annual Conference of the BISA Critical Studies on Terrorism Working Group (CSTWG) will be held at Nottingham Trent University from Monday 15th September to Tuesday 16th September 2014. The conference will feature panels and papers with a particular focus on the intersections between (counter-)terrorism, neoliberalism, and the everyday.

Keynote Speakers
Professor Richard Jackson, University of Otago, New Zealand
Professor Mark Neocleous, Brunel University

Conference Theme and submission details

How should we understand terror? The securitisation of political violence has dominated the discussion of terror within public discourse and International Relations literatures, however important considerations of neoliberalism as terror remain somewhat sidelined in these debates. Are populations terrorised through neoliberal political policy as well as through the deployment of terror-rhetoric (as applied to political dissent and protest)? Should our explorations of the connections between neoliberalism and terror extend beyond consideration of the ideological and biopolitical constitution of security technologies, towards a broader conceptualisation of neoliberalism and/as terror?

Since its inception the Critical Studies on Terrorism Working Group has provided a space for critical and dissenting engagements with the politics of (counter-)terrorism. This has included, inter alia, problematising the production of ‘expert’ knowledge in Terrorism Studies; deconstructing and challenging dominant counter-terrorism practices; exploring experiences of counterterrorism at different levels of the socio-political; and, facilitating connections with cognate research fields including Peace Research and Gender Studies. Building on these interventions, this conference seeks to engage with the political, social and economic implications of current conceptualisations and practices of terrorism, and the concurrent theme of neoliberalism as terror.

As we have suggested, the connections between terrorism and neoliberalism remain under-researched. To this end, the conference explores two broad and intersecting themes – neoliberalism as terror, and neoliberal effects upon the production of terrorism discourse and technologies. Within this remit, we also hope to explore how the lived experiences of neoliberal subjects and what this might tell us about counter-terrorism and its regulation. For instance, can such experiences help provide new insights into how we think about political violence and governance in the post-War on Terror? The working group encourages the submission of papers that focus on themes included, but not limited to:

– How has neoliberal policy/government shaped the way terrorism and counter-terrorism is produced?
– How should we interrogate neoliberalism as terror, alongside its production of terror-oriented security technologies?
– What are the everyday experiences of those subject to and of neoliberal assemblages which seek to prevent, combat and eradicate terrorism? In what ways can vernacular, narrative or story-telling approaches shed light on the ways in which contemporary modes of governing manifest themselves?
– Moreover, what, if any, are the resistances or challenges posed by subjects to these attempts at governing? Do ‘ordinary’ individuals or communities submit to technologies of governance, or do they find ways to subvert, overturn, resist or refuse the ways in which they are expected to behave?

As such we welcome abstract submissions from scholars in the following areas and beyond:

• the ways in which counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation policies contribute to the production of suspect communities
• how understandings and experiences constitute political and other subjectivities under neoliberalism
• pre-emptive policing policies, including surveillance and monitoring practices, and security practices at transport hubs
• the security-industrial complex and its role in counter-terrorism
• political pedagogy
• critical political economies of (counter-)terrorism
• potential resistances to neoliberalism in the context of security politics
• the use of neoliberal ideology as an instrument of state-terrorism
• the discursive production of terrorism in neoliberal societies.
• theoretical engagements on the importance of neoliberalism for terrorism research
• theoretical engagements on the importance of narrative, the everyday and the vernacular for terrorism research
Please submit paper abstracts of no more than 300 words, plus a short biography to any of the conference organisers by 30th June 2014:
• Christopher Baker-Beall, Nottingham Trent University:
• Charlotte Heath-Kelly, Warwick University:
• Lee Jarvis, University of East Anglia:
The conference is sponsored by the British International Studies Association (BISA), Nottingham Trent University (NTU), the NTU Insecurity Political Violence and Change (IPVC) Research Cluster and the Critical Studies on Terrorism Journal (CST). The organisers gratefully acknowledge this support.

Registration fees for delegates will be £30 for the event (including refreshments on both days, but not the conference dinner). The registration fee will be waived for graduate students. Please register via eventbrite and bring cash (if applicable) to the event (so much simpler than cheques).

About the Critical Studies on Terrorism Working Group (CSTWG)

The Critical Studies on Terrorism Working Group was established in 2006 to provide an international network for scholars working on terrorism-related research. The group’s primary aims include:

• To explore the ways in which terrorism is acted upon by law and in politics. This includes the uses which terrorism serves in security policy, and the consequences of the War on Terror.
• To provide a forum through which to establish links between terrorism research and cognate areas including Peace Studies, Political Science, International Relations, Sociology, Human Geography, and beyond.
• To serve as a forum for scholars with a critical emphasis in their work, albeit with a broad, pluralistic approach to the category of ‘critique’

For more information on the working group, visit our website:

Or follow our facebook page:

CFP: Political Action, Resilience and Solidarity


Political Action, Resilience and Solidarity

An inter-disciplinary, inter-institutional workshop

Event organisers:

Nicholas Michelsen, King’s College London
Wanda Vrasti, University of Humboldt

In association with:
• Centre of Integrated Research in Risk and Resilience, King’s College London.
• Research Centre in International Relations, Department of War Studies, King’s
• College London.
• Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance, The Open University
• Centre for the Study of Democracy, Westminster University.

Location: King’s College London.

Thursday the 18th and Friday the 19th of September 2014

The concept of resilience first appeared as a means to articulate how complex ecosystems
are able to meet the challenges of radically shifting environmental conditions whilst
retaining their key functionalities. Thinking in terms of resilience is deemed to offer an
advance on previous approaches to risk-management in that it is concerned with fostering
the adaptive capacities that are innate to any system. Inasmuch as resilience allows a
system, community or agent’s inherent openness to the unexpected to become a source of
beneficiary adaptation, it has garnered attention in a wide number of fields, from socio-
ecological systems to psychology, disaster risk management, urban and national
infrastructure design, post-conflict development and public health planning. Across these
fields, the concept of resilience increasingly frames the possibility of spaces for policy action,
offering a heuristic device under which the defining problems of our era of supposedly
unalloyed uncertainty and insecurity can be addressed.

Contemporary debates around resilience have centred on the political content of the
concept. Whereas in socio-ecological literatures, the concept has retained a broadly positive
connotation, as a means to conceptualise sustainable resource management, in its wider
usage, resilience is subject to critique as informing a conservative, indeed pacifying
rationality of governance (“resilience from above”). Resilience seems to bypass any
suggestion that extant (social, economic, political and ecological) circumstances might be
subjected to a wider or structural critique.

In this context, resilience is often contrasted with explicitly political concepts like solidarity.
Whereas resilience seems to suggest adaptation and immunisation in the face of complex
unalterable forces, solidarity offers a means to challenge and alter extant conditions. By
contrast with resilience, however, the concept of solidarity suffers from significant under-
theorisation in contemporary literatures. What does it mean to “act in solidarity” with
something or someone, and how is this related to the performance of political subjectivity
or citizenship? What does it mean for activists in Tahrir Square to stand in solidarity with
government employees in Madison? We suspect that the concept must be more than just
an affective unification of a group of otherwise disparate actors. Indeed, rather than being
diametrically opposed concepts, solidarity seems a precondition for community resilience
(“resilience from below”). In this sense, perhaps it is at the intersection of solidarity and
resilience that effective political action can occur.

Equally important is the intersection between resilience and democratic citizenship.
Resilience often refers to policies that aim at making citizens able to cope with sudden
changes in their life through, among other methods, taking therapeutic measures; informing
them what to do in times of disaster; and supporting critical infrastructure so important
activities can continue. Yet, this understanding of resilience eschews the idea that coping
with depletion of rights requires new rights claims. Rights to housing, care, political
participation, and so on, are mostly ignored. Resilience policies become in their effects
‘managerial’. They tell citizens what to do and they avoid the fundamental democratic
questions about what social, economic and political rights and lives citizens demand. At this
intersection between rights claims and resilience, resilience from below — what people do in
response to crises and precarity – attains democratic political rather than managerial

This collaborative inter-institutional and interdisciplinary workshop is concerned to examine
and problematize the distinct genealogies and interaction of the concepts of Resilience,
Solidarity, and democratic citizenship with particular focus on the problem of political action
or agency. It aims to explore the ways in which community resilience may be associated or
contrasted with the mechanisms underpinning social and political solidarity and with new
rights claims. A number of related concepts, such as identity, acts of citizenship and political
agency, are clearly of relevance in this context. As such, we invite paper abstracts of no
more than 300 words that speak to the workshop theme in the broadest sense. Possible
areas for discussion include:




Conflict and post-conflict reconstruction




Group psychology

Identity politics

Public health

Political theory/philosophy

Radical Democracy

Revolutionary politics

Social Movements

Socio-ecological systems

Transformative communities

Urban Infrastructure


Please send paper abstracts by June 20th to

Posthuman Methods Workshop 23-24 June 2014

Posthuman Methods Workshop

Organised by Enactments Research Programme CCIG and the journal International Political Sociology

23-24 June 2014

The Open University in London, Camden Centre, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London NW1 8NP

What are posthuman methods? And, how do they interfere in lived worlds? This seminar brings together an interest in innovating methods with debates about the posthuman condition and the limits of humanism. The starting point is an understanding of methods as devices in and through which worlds are brought into being. Methods are more than techniques for extracting data from the world; they interfere in social and political life. Hence the double question: if some lives are lived under posthuman conditions, then (a) how can we know these practices as posthuman and (b) how is the posthuman condition methodologically enacted?

In exploring posthuman methods the workshop unpacks tensions between humanist, anti-humanist and post-humanist understandings of social and political worlds. Instead of focusing on debates in philosophy, the seminar engages these tensions as they are played out and given form in the development of methods of collecting data, knowing, and writing.
Key questions are:
  • How to write about worlds in which distinctions between subjects and objects, between active and passive, between agency and structure are challenged?
  • What is knowledge without ‘author’?
  • What are posthuman data — data that do not reiterate sharp distinctions between humanity and nature or human and technological?
  • What methods are creating posthuman conditions?
The aim of the workshop is to reflect on methodological implications of growing references to actor-network theory, posthumanism, complexity, big data, and new materialism in international studies, and the social sciences more generally. In addition, through discussing methods the seminar seeks to open for debate the currently silent tension between the support and critique of (international) humanitarianism and the posthuman and materialist questioning of subject driven international history and practice.
The workshop has two parts: first, a roundtable discussion on ‘Methodologically enacting posthumanism’ in the evening of 23 June (17:00-19:00) followed by a seminar the next morning (10:00-13:00) with participants picking up and working through some of the key themes raised the evening before.
For more information and registering:



Monday 23 June 2014
Roundtable: Methodologically Enacting Posthumanism
Stefan Herbrechter (University of Coventry): Posthumanism, education and methodology
Estrid Sørensen (University of Bochum): Topography as a method for writing distributed existences
Jef Huysmans (Open University): Post, Human, Method
Tuesday 24 June 2014
Seminar: What are posthuman security methods and what is at stake when enacting posthumanity methodologically?
The aim of the workshop is to collaboratively identify key methodological themes raised during the roundtable discussion and work through them in smaller groups. No preparation is required but participants need to attend the Roundtable the evening before.

CFP: Critical Military Studies journal

We are delighted to announce the first call for papers for Critical
Military Studies:

Critical Military Studies is a new peer-reviewed academic journal which
will be published by Taylor and Francis from 2015. Critical Military
Studies provides a rigorous and innovative platform for
interdisciplinary debate on the operation of military power. As an
international peer-reviewed journal Critical Military Studies publishes
scholarly work conceptualizing, critiquing and challenging accepted
orthodoxies on all aspects of military power and institutions.

Critical Military Studies is a space for the interrogation and
destabilization of often taken-for-granted categories related to the
military, militarism and militarization. It welcomes original thinking
on the contradictions and tensions that are central to the ways in which
military institutions and military power work. It analyses how these
tensions are reproduced within different societies and geopolitical
arenas, and within and beyond academic discourse. Conceptual, empirical
and theoretical contributions on experiences of militarization among
groups and individuals, and in hitherto underexplored, perhaps even
seemingly ‘non-military’ settings are also especially encouraged.

In addition to research articles, Critical Military Studies includes an
Encounters section, which provides an open space for original creative
work and alternative forms of critique. For Encounters we invite
submissions developed through engagement with social and political life,
environmental issues, cultural production, the arts and media. We
encourage contributions that explore diverse modes of representation
such as: interviews; exploratory or speculative ‘think pieces’; fiction;
reportage; book, film and theatre reviews; visual arts; and pedagogic or
methodological reflections.

In 2015 Critical Military Studies will offer two prizes:
• Best manuscript submitted by an emergent scholar, with a prize of
• Established scholar award with a prize of $US200

Please see the Call for Papers above for more information or contact the
Editor Dr Victoria Basham or
Editorial Assistant Dr Jess Gifkins with queries.